It’s aimed at helping purchasers with a household income of less than £60,000 afford the home they want. The loan is available for up to 30 percent of the value of the property, co-funded by the Homes and Communities Agency and Taylor Wimpey – and for example, this timely initiative means that if you qualify for a mortgage of £140,000, you could buy a property worth up to £200,000.
Adam explains: “It’s been a lifesaver really, as my partner Sophie Lane (21) and I had been struggling to save enough and get a mortgage. And it was only when we got to The Village after finding out that all the two bedroom homes in Lawley and Hadley were not to our liking that we happened upon the ‘HomeBuy Direct’ scheme. The sales executive Helen Ward explained it to us and suddenly we realised we could finally make things work.
“We eventually opted for an interest free equity loan on 20% of the value of the home, because this scheme is very flexible like that and we could afford it in the end, and we’re really chuffed to be on the property ladder so young. Our parents are delighted too, because I think they’re secretly glad to be getting rid of us and having the family homes to themselves at last. Plus, like all the properties at The Village, ours is an ‘eco’ home that enables us to do our bit for the environment – even the recycling initiatives are satisfying – while it looks very striking and contemporary too with its tall ceilings and open plan style. We love our new lifestyle and have settled in really well with our neighbours.”
Sister Rachel and partner Tom Corbett (24), meanwhile, have just qualified for the scheme and secured a three bedroom ‘Lawley’ home with its unique roof terrace just to the rear of Adam and Sophie. Only eight properties remain at The Village – all in this truly desirable house style – and saving the best to last has never rung so true.
Tom says: “Adam and Sophie’s very positive ‘Homebuy Direct’ experience definitely inspired us to follow suit and as we could also afford to take a 20% rather than a 30% loan, it will turn out to be more profitable in the long term. The advice and support given by Taylor Wimpey has been superb throughout and we’ve found the whole process to be relatively straightforward really. As one of only seven UK Millennium communities The Village is very different and really stands out in Telford, plus you get a lot of house for your money with the spacious and well designed ‘Lawley’. We’ll have a large living area, as well as a kitchen diner, and as Rachel and I love cooking and entertaining that’s a real winner.
“But we’ll also have three double bedrooms, two bathrooms, a garage, a private garden, plus that study room and lovely roof terrace. We never thought we would get such a spectacular home as first time buyers – and it’s all down to this fantastic scheme. As a surveyor and someone who’s studied environmental science, we’ve also bought into the eco benefits of these properties, because apart from saving on our bills it really will make a difference to our carbon footprint.”
HomeBuy Direct is designed to overcome the hurdles of high mortgage costs and larger deposits. No interest is charged on the equity loan for the first five years and the purchaser has to contribute the remaining equity through an agreed mortgage. Buyers are also able to pay off the equity loan in instalments at any stage after the first 12 months or sell their HomeBuy property on the open market if they wish – with the equity loan being repaid by way of a share of the sales proceeds.
The Village is selling consistently well, despite the credit crunch, and it’s in no small part due to the fact that it’s designed to demonstrate very best practice in social and environmental sustainability. Every property has an EcoHomes ‘excellent’ rating and this reduces metered energy consumption and mains water consumption by 20%. And increased circulation areas created by roomier living spaces, high insulation levels and low energy heating systems all contribute to the homes being substantially friendly to the environment.
It’s also making a name for itself because residents have their say on how the development is maintained through a pioneering community trust system, which places maintenance decisions in the hands of those who actually live there. There are schemes in place at the development to encourage greener modes of transport.
Visit The Village on Holyhead Road between 10.00am and 5.00pm daily, telephone 0845 071 8846 or log on to www.taylorwimpey.co.uk/westmids . The eight remaining three bedroom ‘Lawley’ homes start from just £164,995, but as a ‘HomeBuy Direct’ price this equates to only £115,496.